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The Cycle

News/Business. Politics, the economy, media, sports and any other issues that grab people's attention. New.

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Us 9, Washington 8, Christie 7, America 6, Lyrica 5, Krystal 4, Vikings 4, John Boehner 3, Max 3, Joe 3, Bob 3, Bob Woodward 3, Warfarin 3, Pete 3, Jonathan 2, Mayer 2, Sandberg 2, Geico 2, Peter Alexander 2, Biden 2,
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  MSNBC    The Cycle    News/Business. Politics, the economy, media, sports  
   and any other issues that grab people's attention. New.  

    February 28, 2013
    12:00 - 1:00pm PST  

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you are in "the cycle" and it's the final countdown. t-minus one day until the sequester kicks in. this hour the senate's voting on two final replacement bills but neither are expected to go far. no surprise. that means tomorrow the president has until midnight to sign the sequester order and 11 months ago he suggested and the republicans agreed to and with that, the first cuts bear down on americans. can you feel the an mos if i growing over the dysfunction in washington? >> yes! >> speaking of dysfunction, lawmakers spent the morning blaming each other for the sequester and setting the stage for the next manufactured budget crisis. >> my message at the white house will be the same as today. it's time for them to do their job and to pass a bill. this was about his convenience. him not wanting to go through a fight over the debt limit again. that's where he came up with the sequester. >> we're seeking to provide american people with a balanced
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approach. the only republicans in the country who disagree with this proposal are the republicans who serve in congress. >> republicans have voted twice to replace the president's sequester with smarter spending cuts and reforms. >> american people deserve better than what the republicans in this building believe is a right thing. >> the president and democrat leaders failed to pass a solution of their own. >> it's a shame the colleagues decided that protecting special interests is more important to them. >> we have the sequester battle or what s.e. calls the big ax of 2013. >> that's right. >> covered from both sides of washington. nbc's peter alexander at the white house and luke russert on the hill. peter, what is the mood? >> reporter: appreciate the final countdown music, krystal. any point tomorrow the president can sign the order and goes in to effect. press secretary jay carney indicated at the briefing that
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the president is, quote, ever hopeful. but as you have the private conversations with aides here at the white house, they make it very clear they're continuing to focus on the same priority which is to try to convince the american public that compromise, a balanced approach, is the way to go on this. hoping that the public ultimately will influence congress. congressional republicans to back down from their positions right now. you know, we do as we head in to tomorrow have been focusing on this is happening sort of like an overnight thing but the white house is almost backed off that language to some degree and just yesterday the president said last evening before an event with the business council, he said this is not a cliff but more like a tumble downward. the white house is anxious that many americans who do not see immediate impacts in the first few days or weeks may think this is much ado about nothing but confident the americans will feel the pain of sequester if not dealt with soon. >> and luke, when's the capitol side of this? >> reporter: the house of
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representatives is so worried, guys, that they have recessed until monday so they will not be here in session when the sequester goes in to effect. john boehner very adamant today regarding the house gop position that they have done their work and waiting for the senate to do something. right about now, two proposals, one to give the president an authority to do the cuts or democratic one to replace the sequester. both going down to the senate floor and we'll go in to a sequester. the next fight is march 27th government shutdown fear. the house gop next week will move on a budget and something to replace the sequester, maybe not completely but to fix it in their minds in regards to dod but the big story and what kornacki would love to talk about, the house gop budget next week written to what's the baseline? $974 billion writing it to the idea that sequester has gone in to effect making tea party republicans very happy and makes
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them happy to cut washington spending and compromise is difficult moving forward. i asked john boehner today whether he's open to grand bargain talks with the president of the united states and said as of right now he likes to do things through regular order so we'll see. >> all right. peter alexander and luke russert, thank you for that. we want to bring in deputy managing editor at politico, rachel smokan. the idea is this is madness, chaos, potentially catastrophic. i guess i sort of have a different take on it. i'm looking at the sort of relevant political actors here and in terms of political incentives, first, looking at the sequester, it can be kind of fazed in and definitely reversible in the next few weeks. could be passed to undo the damage from it. looking at it from the white house's perspective, the only compromise offered by republicans right now is cuts
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only. it's worse from their standpoint than the sequester itself and from the republicans' standpoint to get to the point to compromise where revenue or something is on the table they have to stand up to the president and stare him down on the sequester so don't they need to buy some more time and going through here? >> that's right. you can debate whether they're acting rationally. some americans might disagree with that but certainly this is the self interest. that part is very clear. i mean, president obama feels like he ran for re-election on this issue. the question of a balanced approach as he calls it to a deficit spending and cutting that you have to raise revenue, you can't just cut your way to the future, the republicans feel like they just gave the president his revenue. right? we did this in the last round, the fiscal cliff debate and they say we have done that. time to move on and get serious about cutting spending and each side is dug in and that's why. they feel like they're acting in their self interest.
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they're pushing forward their own position and that's why there's really no compromise happening on this issue barring some, you know, amazing dramatic event that none of us can foresee at this moment by 11:59 tomorrow that we all turn in to pumpkins or whatever happens when the sequester hits, it is coming. >> i'm a fan of amazing dramatic events so i hope one is coming but i'm not sure if it's coming. this is the fifth manufactured budget cut since the gop take over the house. the gop's image right now is at a historic low, 62% of americans saying the gop's out of touch. 56% not open to change. 52%, too extreme. my question kind of is, can they read? but in a way in terms of cuts, they're getting what they want but people aren't really paying attention to the sequester. is this going to have a long-term impact on gop image or not is. >> it is not clear.
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part of the issue with the sequester fight is that there is a single moment of drama. the fiscal cliff fight had all of that. you had a moment in time when taxes were going to go up. this is much more of a fiscal slope if you will. that term that democrats started pushing the last time around. >> i believe steve kornacki started to push that term on this program. >> that's right. you heard it here first. right? so now finally maybe it will get the day in the sun. you should try again and see if that sticks this time. i was chatting with a colleague of mine about how sequester, that's not a catchy word. >> you know a democrat came up with sequester. republicans would have come up with something way better than that. >> the big ax. >> democrats might have gone for the meat ax or cleaver that president obama -- >> that's what republicans would come up with. >> absolutely. >> well, i do want to go on record. i came up with the big ax of 2013. >> which is a great title. >> this republican. >> i take -- >> the big ax is --
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>> the big ax. >> one of those college football rivalry games. minnesota and wisconsin. >> a hashtag and all set. >> rachel, i want to bring up sort of a funny point. there's a list of things that cost the same as the sequester. one of them is the aig bail youth. the sequester about $10 billion less than what we spent on beer in 2011. 17% of what we spent on gas in 2012. and yes, someone found out and did this calculation, it is 1/100,000th cost of the death star. i'm wondering, have we in the media helped to manufacture this crisis? >> well, both parties would probably say yes. republicans in particular would probably say it pretty emphat emphatically. part of the reason wall street is not excited about this and big business isn't too excited about the sequester is that the feeling, first of all, fiscal
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fatigue set in. they can't take more crises of washington and not going to dramatically impact the economy and hard to convince the average american you can't take some fat out of the federal budget and it drives home that impression. sure, other americans have gone through this long period of recession and where they have had to cut their own family budgets so that the idea that we can't cut at all in washington is hard to swallow. >> switching gears, the senate version of violence against women act, passed the house today. vice president biden weighed in on the passage earlier. let's take a listen. >> my entire career, this is the proudest cause i've ever been associated with. there's never, never -- hear me now, never a justification for a man to strike a woman for any reason other than self defense. and serious self defense.
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never. never. never. >> and rachel, as you know, the reauthorization was a long time in coming. last congressional session they were unable to come to a compromise and even with this passage, a majority of the republican house caucus voted against the final bill so but what shifted in the politics for the republicans to decide to go ahead and let this pass even as a majority of them voted against it? >> well, i think there's just a realization that the politics are absolutely against them on this issue. whatever nuances there might be or very specific concerns of a piece of this, the messaging is impork for the party on this one. you heard vice president biden. this is an issue near and dear to his heart. he's passionate about. almost no way for the republicans to effectively push back against this and coming out of a presidential election where they didn't do well with women or minorities. there are many loud voices in the republican party wanting to
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push for a more inclusive image, a for more inclusive attitude and when there's fight over a bill like this it flies in the face of that effort. >> they were just ready to move on. rachel, thank you so much. >> thank you so much. as we were just discussing yesterday, i gave my suggestion to rename sequester. i want end times. s.e. prefers the big ax of 2013. now the facebook fans are proposing their own. the capturequest and broke-a-on this. like us on facebook and submit yours, as well. morn the high stakes game of poker as "the cycle" rolls on for thursday, february 28th. [ male announcer ] i've seen incredible things.
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among the president's critics on sequester, count s.e.'s friend ceoo of concerned ceos of america. he must be in the guest spot, s.e. that's how it works. thank you for your service in iraq and other places. >> thanks for having me. >> i take a little issue with the characterization that the president is doing in the sequester battle. you say he's sort of playing a blame game, making the republicans seem as they're being obstructionist when we know obstruction is an admitted strategy of that side and we know that john boehner cannot lead his own caucus and to say the president isn't leading is a bit strange and i want you to respond of a quote of tom cole
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of oklahoma in the new "new yorker" and a piece about eric cantor saying it's a little like the dysfunctional family speaking about the gop where everybody knows that old joe is an alcoholic and somebody needs to say. we need to get joe some help. come on. he's ruined too many christmas parties and i think joe is the far right, the tea party group. s.e. said something similar to this. will you be critical of old uncle joe? >> i think there's plenty of obstruction and dysfunction to go around. the point i'm trying to make is that republicans, conservatives, those that believe in getting at the debt and deficit painted as blind defenders of the rich and the president is shrewd of doing that. unwilling to close loopholes and my argument call his bluff. close some loopholes and some corporate loopholes for the rich and reduce the payroll tax rate
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hitting the middle class. gas is more expensive. wages going down. the payroll cut hit and ask for some actual tax reform across the board to simplify the code. make it accessible to the little guy. i really do think there's sound fiscally conservative proposals that flips that script and shows that those that care about debt and deficit and veterans care about that, too, aren't here to defend the rich. we are here to bring the country to a fiscally solvent place. >> pete, it's interesting because republicans were the ones most reluctant to extent the payroll tax cut and ultimately both sides decided to let that tax cut expire because democrats were worried about long-term impact and entitlement programs, but you talk about the president's, quote, middle class rhetoric. indicating that he doesn't really have policies or plans or isn't really actually helping the middle class and talked about a number of things in the
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state of the union address. advocated for raising the minimum wage, infrastructure, all things i think to help the middle class and working class. what sort of middle class proposals are you looking for from this president? >> well, i do think the problem with the sequester to bring it -- not just back to that, it cuts a lot of discretionary pieces of the fwhaugt are in good investments, provide equal opportunity and so cutting those and being unwilling, completely unwilling to reform entitlements and taken that off the table -- >> he also talked, though, in the state of the union specifically about reforming entitlements and offered several proposals and said anything that he's offered is still on the table. but he wants in exchange for that some willingness to close the loophole that is you yourself have said should be closed. >> well, so the question would be, do you call his bluff and then say, where are the reforms? our budget and debt and deficit fall on the backs of middle class.
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not enough taxes on the wealthy or defense to cut. you can cut the defense department and half of one year's annual deficit. you can reform the defense department and that's precisely what our organization thinks we should be doing. finding ways to cut and doing so you get away from stripping a lot of programs in the discretionary side of the budget that people like. and people believe government should be doing. we have to reform it. not cut it and why sequestration is so bad. >> i'm struggling to see what you see obama is doing wrong with sequestration. obama said he's looking for a long-term deal here, a grand bargain, half entitlement reform and then include basically a tax reform, closing tax deductions. a discussion. he said that would be the other part of it and chained cpi and immediate question of sequestration, there's a proposal on the table of democrats that would as you say, saying call the bluff here, close loopholes and deductions and half spending cuts and no
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comparable plan of republicans. >> just as -- that's not true. >> well no. but -- >> passed in the house. >> okay. but pete -- hold on, pete. i don't mean to interrupt. it passed in the last congress and by all reasonable estimate there is's no way the republicans have the votes to pass what they passed in the last congress in the new congress. they have not put a new plan forward. >> but they have passed two plans. the issue is with the rhetoric of this administration. is that they talk about the desire of deficit reduction and said in the state of the union nothing adding a single penny to the debt or deficit and untrue so the rhetoric is there and talking about responsibility but the reality and the manifestation of that reality, we close loopholes on the rich, how much does that do to balance the budgets? virtually nothing. just like sequestration. >> all right. >> of what? >> sequester. >> half of it. >> you don't think you can cover right now -- patch up a year of
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w that? >> changing the trend lines? does the nature of the sequester change trend lines? it doesn't and still going up adding more and more debt and deficit to the load of the country and should be concerning to all of us. there's a lot of smoke and mirrors on both sides not getting to the -- getting the root of the problem. hey, close the loopholes, reform entitlements and get it done. we agree on more than we think. >> let's talk, pete, quickly about some of the dangerous politics going on. dhs released hundreds of illegal immigrants in advance of the sequestrati sequestration. i.c.e. officials say they plan to release as many as 10,000 and broad discretion in the various argss in terms of how to implement these cuts. the political grandstanding that could potentially put american lives in danger, shouldn't the agency heads be fired on the spot for doing that? >> well, they should be held to
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account for it. have you gotten your sequestration survival kit yet? it's a washington monument strategy used. defense is doing it, too. not sending an aircraft carrier to the middle east because of of this. to reform, they would. trying to make the cuts look scarier and we need thoughtful people at the table. our group says there are places to cut the defense department and reform it so that we preserve capabilities, cutting the fat, preserving the muscle. nature is the problem and then irresponsible politicians saying the hair is on fire. >> but nothing about uncle joe, huh, pete? >> well, hey. i think the whole article is about uncle joe in a certain sense. >> everybody loves uncle joe! >> everybody does not love uncle joe. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. the senate is looking for divine intervention! >> as we anticipate an across-the-board set of budget cuts becoming law in our land,
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we still expect to see your goodness prevail. rise up, oh god, and save us from ourselves. >> amen. catholics in the senate and around the world today said good-bye to pope benedict xvi known as pope emeritus now. it was a historic moment kissing the ring for the final time and waved farewell to the faithful. he left for the last time as vowing obedience to his successor. the 85-year-old cited failing health as the reason for his retirement. he's a pacemaker, blind in one eye and reliant on a walker cane. the pope emeritus spending the first months of private life at the papal smumer residence castel gandolfo. this is where just one hour ago his reign as pope came to an end
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officially. after the successor is picked, benedict will move to the permanent residence behind st. peter's a basilica. most likely picking a pope before easter sunday and then the holy church will have two living popes for the first time in 700 years. up next, the story that's got washington all abuzz today. white house arm twisting goodfellows style. >> can i have it? i can't have it. i can't do it, henry. it's -- can't do it. >> nobody says that you can't do what you want to do. >> do what you want to do. we don't know that. this is what it is. okay? you know what it is. you have to do the right thing. right in the old bucket. good toss! see that's much better! that was good. you had your shoulder pointed, you kept your eyes on your target. let's do it again -- watch me. just like that one... [ male announcer ] the durability of the volkswagen passat.
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we are less than six weeks in to president obama's second term and those promises to stop politicizing every issue seems a
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memory. was he really threatened over the story on the sequester? let's spin. save you spence, no he was not. we'll get back to that later. let's start with chris christie and questions about what's going to happen with him for 2016. has he angered the conservative base so much that he couldn't survive a primary? i think at this point associated with the national republican party is not a great thing and him not appearing at cpac probably not a big deal. here's the other thing. plenty of time. re-elected this fall. plenty of time between then and 2016. he can go and yell at some teachers. cut some pensions. will be back in the good graces of the republicans. he will have bolstered the independent brand and he also has a lot more talent than mitt romney as a politician and i think romney had to move to the right because he couldn't sort of finesse the more moderate
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positions. christie is a much more talented politician. will get away with more than mitt romney was able to in a primary. >> first, if woodward wasn't threatened, i don't know how you explain the bandages on the legs. that's later. on the issue of christie, there's conventional wisdom this week that the cpac snub indicates he's lost favor with the sket movement. win knowed from the 2016 republican race and it's vastly overstated the idea that he's alienated from the right. first, looking at the supposed vulnerabilities, a couple of issues. there's the praise of obama right before the election. like to see the republican to get up on the stage with christie and challenges him and christie turn on him. i was watching my state get destroyed. what did you want me to do? what would you do? something like that. immigration, christie said he didn't like the term illegal immigrant five or six years ago
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as u.s. attorney and moving more by 2016 on immigration and medicaid this week, expansion. staying seven other republican governors done the same thing. what we have seen in the past is republicans will overlook past if they like you and want to be behind you. tea party republicans nominated romney and then -- >> okay. >> we shall see how much they get over this. the war for the soul of the gop rages on. this snub of the most popular republican on all the land is horribly dumb and comes down to what are you going to be -- what's the problem? is the problem the policies or the marketing? is it the pizza or is it the box? chris christie gone away on immigration, on gun control and it says to me that they think the problem is the marketing. it is the box. not the pizza. and when you have a party that's on the wrong side of national polling, on gun control, immigration, on marriage
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equality, tax fairness, saying that it's the box, it's the messaging, not the policies, strikes me as just sort of horribly dumb. can you not read? >> will he be okay in 2016? >> i think so. i think it's too many for republicans to let christie off the hook. >> yes. >> they're not doing that. >> cpac, i will point out, is not the whole of the party. >> bingo. >> there it is. >> so turning back to bob woodward and those that did not follow the story on twitter last night saying that the president is responsible for the sequester. he wrote it in the book and "wall street journal" op-ed and white house not too pleased with this story line. woodward then went on cnn and said he was threatened by the white house. >> oh my. >> he would regret the actions. >> oh my. >> the actual e-mails released and included the threatening language as from sperling to woodward, i apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today. >> what? >> my bad.
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>> my bad. >> and woodward replying, you do not ever have to apl apologize to me. >> aw. >> most cordial e-mails i have ever seen. >> i was just trying to watch "duck dive city" live premier and twitter exploded with this story. some of you may be wondering how the story comes about, especially one that develops mostly on twitter. well, it starts as you would expect with hard breaking news. it was a day like any other for buzz feed. yesterday afternoon andrew posts a picture of taco pat. >> aw! dumb. >> time stands adorably deliciously still. after everyone recovers, news rolls in. 8:01 p.m., politico posts the first piece on a testy exchange of woodward and an aide in the white house and then ben smith reports sperling sent the e-mail to woodward.
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some ironically tweets woodward makes me suspect nixon got a raw deal. chin up, buddy. katrina from the nation observes that smart interns at the publication have no idea who woodward is and d.c. establishment freaked out about the critique and then buzz feed chimes in and almost scolds everyone for no experience to know what the hell they're talking about. >> supposed to be you? >> that's not me. and then justin green punches back, if buzz feed explained the woodward story with arrested development gifts i'd click, he says. >> oh. >> and finally, this morning, at 10:47 a.m., buzz feed posts, why fox news should hire bob woodward and the circle of life is complete. >> no. and then 10:48 a.m., bob woodward was found dead thigh did not happen!
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>> did not happen. >> no! >> did not happen. >> alive and well. thank goodness. >> fake facts of steve kornacki. they call it the greatest throat life in america. war, disease, economic collapse. all because people are getting dogs instead of having kids? well we know i'm obviously not the problem here. >> me neither. >> we'll dig in to the claims next. [ male announcer ] this is bob,
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for more information including cost support options, for over 75 years people ...with geico... ohhh...sorry!. director's voice: here we go. from the top. and action for over 75 years people have saved money with gecko so.... director's voice: cut it! ...what...what did i say? gecko? i said gecko? aw... for over 75 year...(laughs. but still trying to keep it contained) director's voice: keep it together. i'm good. i'm good. for over 75...(uncontrollable lahtuger). what are you doing there? stop making me laugh. vo: geico. saving people money for over seventy-five years. gecko: don't look at me. don't look at me. when the big ax of 2013, again, yes, i invented that, drops in washington tomorrow the cuts will have a deep impact on some americans but i have news for you. that may pale in comparison to what the next guest termed america's baby bust. >> what? >> a demographic disaster.
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krystal is doing her part to save the country. >> me, too. >> she is not keeping pace with history. today the fertility rate in the u.s. around two children. a huge decline from 200 years ago or so when the average white woman had seven children. that's right. seven. >> i'm still young. >> that's a lot. >> give it time. >> that's a lot. >> clearly we can't be expected to give birth to seven kids. thank god. how's that changing the economy and future? jonathan last is a senior writer at "the weekly standard." his new book is "what to expect when no one's expecting." >> you want to blame this on us. >> it has to be! >> not about democrats. >> has to be. >> demographic. jonathan, break it down. there's sort of like a reverse maoist thing going on and what i think people hear population, population growth is slowing, they think, yeah. great news.
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more resources for all of us but actually economically that's not how it shakes out. >> that's a tool. we've been hearing about the dangers -- >> tell us what you really think! >> never really materializes actually by the objective markers. life expectancy is increasing, standard of living, the commodities prices dropped 100 years or so. the problem with population decline and fertility decline experiencing it is that everybody crashes below the replacement level, 2.1 children for the average woman over the course of lifetime, as you crash through that, you wind up with an inversion of your age profile. you wind up with many more old people than young people and the key problem here. your age profile. once that inverts, causes all kinds of bad things. economic sles do downs and other downstream effects. >> i would love to hear more about how it's a tool but i should ask you that the cost to
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raise a child is $1.1 million. what? can you unpack that a little bit? what are we paying for? >> you have to do the dr. evil voice. $1.1 million. right. this is once you factor in the hard costs like diapers and vit mans and tickle me elmos and that garbage, also then, the two big drivers which are college costs about $200,000. a fifth of it. and then foregone spouses wages. somebody has to stay home at least part time with the kids in the beginning or then you have to hire nanny care and enormously expensive as you may know. krystal, you have my sympathies. >> thank you. >> to that point, how do we get people to have more babies, jonathan? shouldn't we make it easier, less expensive to have children through quality affordable child care and tax deductible?
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just letting people be able to live more easily when they're, especially on the low income level because one of the things you talk about is abortion in the country and we know that a preponderance of abortions among low-income women and shouldn't we have a greater safety net to raise the children? >> you are on to the exact right thing. we should not be like lecturing and yelling at people not having kids. >> thank you. >> that's stupid. and i -- i celebrate my child-free brethren. please, take a weekend trip to paris and see a movie on a wednesday night and think of me. i -- >> you don't have kids? >> no. i do have kids. that's the problem. >> oh, oh. >> can't you see? look at the craziness in my eyes. >> yeah. >> once good is dead inside of me. of course i had kids. so yeah, no. you're on the right thing. we have a persistent gap in america between ideal fertility, the number of kids people want to have, 2.5 and then you have
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fertility which is 1.9. we shouldn't be lecturing and yelling but trying to make the lives easier and help them achieve the families they want. >> tommy mouthist was a tool. you heard it here first. thank you very much for coming on. >> great to be with you guys. up next, from the creator of "the tu dorrs" the history channel gets a show about vikings. boom! or maybe arg? ♪ [ female announcer ] from tracking the bus. ♪ to tracking field conditions. ♪ wireless is limitless. some brokerage firms are. but way too many aren't. why? because selling their funds makes them more money. which makes you wonder -- isn't that a conflict? search "proprietary mutual funds." yikes! then go to e-trade. we've got over 8,000 mutual funds,
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as my fellow cyclists are fond of pointing out there's random and some might say historic and nonless knowledge in my head. check out the new web series for more of that, steve's corner, if that's your thing but most of those facts about modern american political history. lucky for all of us, we have the history channel to fill in the gaps and in to scripted programming, history taking on one of the most terrifying groups of people ever. no, it is not congress. it is the vikings. word viking struck fear in the hearts of europeans of centuries. the boogie men in the north
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traveling across the sea to sack villages. they were traders, explorers and innovators finding the new world before columbus. the series may change that perception. michael hurst creator of "the tudors" hopes to shed a light on this. so, you know, michael, all kind of there in the set-up and a reflexive reaction of people saying vikings. we think of the marauders. they pillage, steal. you think in the present day they have a credit card ad that uses vikings that are behaving crazily. when's the truth? what's the right way? >> you know, well, the good thing about that is, of course, people immediately do have a thought or do have a reaction. it's an amazing thing that around the world you just have to say the word vikings and it conjures up images and thoughts
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in people's minds which is a great lead-in to doing a series about them. you have to understand that most of what was written about the vikings written by hostile witnesses. that is christian monks. they, of course, were nonliteral, pagans and didn't write anything down. and their culture was destroyed after it was christianized. but what i found in the research was some extraordinary things. very briefly, that they were far more democratic than saxon western and francish culture. they had regular meetings and discussed things of property to justice. and perhaps even more interestingly was the attitude towards women. that women in viking culture could divorce their husbands. they fought alongside their husbands.
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and they could rule. so, there's a great deal of bad publicity that surround the vikings and this will address it. the show addresses that in many ways. >> michael, is it true, though, that they were accurately remembered as extraordinarily tough and bad and able to sort of beat up almost all the other gangs in europe? >> they were. of course. renowned fighters. but from their point of view, you can see that it was an advantage to them to be known as particularly ferocious because if you think about it, they came over from scandinavia. let's say originally on a raid in a couple of boats with about 60 warriors, 60 guys in the boat. that's a finite resource. they didn't know how many people they were going to come up against although they knew they were coming up against larger countries and probably larger
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armies. so of course it suited them to be known as particularly frightening when they turned up. and but they also had -- they were imaginative fighters. they uses lots of ruses an one of the best ones was if they thought they were outnumbered, they ran away. this was a brilliant ruse. >> and michael, more and more people are actually getting their history from the media it seems like. do you think that's a good thing? >> yes, i do think. i think it opens windows and doors for people. they shouldn't necessarily believe what they see and, of course, i'm writing dramas. not documentaries. but i think and i'm sure that a lot of people get interested in history by watching this kind of show. and a lot of them will do further research for pleasure. i know that the tudors series spawned a huge industry.
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in publishing, in reading, in visiting these historical sites. for many years, americans following henry ford thought that history was bunk. now i think they're waking up not only to european history and out of which they come but their own history. so that there is this huge renaissance, i think, in interest in history. because, you know, history made us what we are. >> well, and michael, you know, as i'm sure i don't have to tell you, regardless of the time and the setting and the story line, you know, crafting a good television series starts with the characters so what was your -- what was your goal there in flushing out the story lines and these people? >> well, we started with our sort of hero, i found this
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amazing viking leader who thought that he was descended from the gododin, and odin was the god of curiosity and poetry as well as slain warriors. i thought my central character would have this curiosity that would drive him to venture and explore west. i surrounded him with a family. he has a wife and two children. he's a family man. he loves his wife and his family, and the series in a way is also a family saga, and that's how we get into these people. >> sure. >> and into their culture. >> all right. michael, thank you for that. up next, you think the vikings are scary, you haven't heard krystal talk about -- be afraid. but also, stay tuned. [ male announcer ] this is the opposite of subliminal advertising...
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and we saw your boobs in "brokeback mountain." nicole kidman in eyes wide shot, marisa torme and we haven't seen jennifer lawrence's boobs at all. >> i know we've come a long way, but, man, sometimes it feels like we still have a long way to go. this week for me has been one of those times and that boob song is the least of my concerns. what's really got me going is the approach that two of the
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highest profile most successful working moms in the entire country are doing to help a sister out. the two ladies i'm talking about are marisa maier and cheryl sandberg. m mayer made waves by ending workplace flexibility. sandberg has a new book coming uncoura encouraging women to be more aggressive in the workplace. it includes a plan for women to crease their own lean in circles with other women where they will learn her tricks for gaming the status quo and they also invite women to submit their stories to the lean in website as long as those stories have happy endings. no crying over spilt breast milk please. the two women are quite
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different. mayer doesn't see herself as a working mom role model. while sandberg embraces her iconic working mom status and is seeking to build a social movement to help women advance in the workplace. both fundamentally misunderstand the challenges facing us working moms. overall we earn only 77 cents on the dollar compared to men. some economists estimate that gap is accounted for almost entirely by the mom gap. the penalty in salaries that comes simply by being a mother. researchers at cornell have shown that an equally qualified mother is less likely to be hired, less likely to be promoted, and will be offered a lower salary and judged more harshly for absences than their male and childless counterparts. these mothers aren't leaning back or failing to be ambitious enough. they're penalize the immediately just by having born children. meanwhile, we are torn in two trying to be perfect moms on the one hand and perfect employees on the other and feel ourselves to be failing toee